Good morning, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I went to visit a friend that was very ill with cancer. It started in her brain and now has spread through out her body. We went on her back porch to visit and she sat down in a comfortable chair, reached in her pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. She reached in the pack of cigarettes to pull one out, put it to her mouth, lit it and puffed her first breath. She looked at me and said, "I am so thankful you do not condemn me for my bad habit and make me feel like I have to hide it from you."
Before I give you my response I would like to tell you something about myself that some of you may not know. I use to be a smoker myself, and also did a lot of other bad habits I was not proud of but did them anyway.There are those, like I was, that do not have his grace and the addiction will always turn into something else even when they overcome one through their own strength, there will always be another that comes back to haunt them. It is a endless journey of confusion. My eyes were closed and my heart had been heart had been deadened.
John 12v 37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous sings in their presence, they still would not believe in him.
v40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts nor turn- and I would heal them.
Others in Christ may begin to think the addiction is more powerful in them than His grace if they don't continue in his gift of faith accepting who he is and begin to reject his words. We often begin taking pride in ourselves being the one to save us. If we start rejecting the truth of who he is by not accepting his words or never begin accepting who He is and rejecting his words we will be condemning ourselves by the very words he spoke to us. This is proven through Judas Iscariot and his relationship with Jesus. It is also proven through all the people who did not accept Jesus and rejected his words. They remain confused and lost with continued trouble in their hearts remaining in darkness. This is proven today as well, he remains the same person of God, Son of Man, with the same words to save us. There are many things that keep our eyes shut and deadened our hearts so we will not turn in repentance so God will heal us. There are many reasons a person does not confess his faith in fear of loosing power, friends and pride in themselves being the one to save them.
John 12:42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue, for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
I know now my pride in myself being strong enough to stop me from my bad habits cannot stop me from my bad habits, and my pride will always lead me to more I cannot control. I wanted credit for all the good I wanted to do within myself so I was rejecting Him and His words. I was not receiving His peace only confusion. I also know now His light cannot continue to grow in me if I continue in darkness. The only way I stopped my bad habits was to give them to my Lord and by His powerful gift of grace I was able to stop all bad habits. I am not talking about sin and unbelief. I am talking about what is most common in man. I am talking about His will being lived out in our lives. I am not saying if you do smoke you are not going to Heaven, if you over eat you are not going to Heaven or if you over drink alcohol you are not going to Heaven. I am saying what is common to man in his day to day life can keep you from living God's will in your life. I am saying everyone can live a brighter and brighter life with the darkness fading more and more when we give up all that is not him in us for God, for our Father's sake who speaks through Jesus His First and Holy Son! He too will also be speaking through us for His glory as He spoke through Jesus if Jesus is fully living His light through us.
John 12:44 Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
When grace is within us through His presence we can say no to all bad habits and all ungodliness, it out weighs any false pleasure we are receiving from these false securities we have become to count on. It is not I who condemns or judges myself it is Him that judges me and keeps me on the straight and narrow path to save me from the darkness overtaking me by what he gives me of Himself. It is not I who saves me or the world around me, it is Him in me that saves me and the world around me through me.
Now that you know my relationship with God and where he has brought me by all that he has given me through the Holy Spirit, I will tell you my response to my friend when she told me she was thankful I did not judge or condemn her when she smoked. I told her I did not come to condemn the world but to save it. I do not judge or condemn but there is one that is greater than me that does.
John 12:47 "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.
He sees you smoking and tells you what that does to the temple he lives in, not I. If you reject Him or His words you will not be living the life he has planned for you and you will be condemned for it.He is the one that judged me, and judges me through his words he spoke and speaks to me, and now he is speaking those same words to you through me for your benefit and mine because he loves you and me. I must speak the words he tells me to speak for your benefit. His interest in you has become my interest in you. It is Him that you disappoint not me, it is his love and grace that is in me for you and it is His grace in you that can save you from all your bad habits so you can live out his will for your life he has given to you. I told my dear friend to accept Him as her Savior and His grace through the words he was speaking to her and He will save her from all darkness that keeps her from receiving His full light. She did accept Him and His words he spoke through me and was able to put the cigarettes down through the power of grace from God she received. I told her to remain in his love by continually accepting Him and His words and He will continue to keep her out of darkness while his light grows more powerful in her for all to see, so everyone will glorify our Father for it!
John 12v49 For I did not speak on my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.
We who are in Christ do not speak on our own accord, we speak the words our Father gives for His truth to be known because we love His living souls. Those souls he reveals to us that are living in darkness we want them to know His light. We listen to His words and never reject them because we accept Him in who He is by what He has given us of Himself. His faith and grace that leads us to eternal life holding on to every word that is spoken from His mouth as those who hear His words through us will accept and never reject. We are here to save those who are walking in darkness and do not know His full light. We want His light to shine fuller and brighter so they can truly live out their lives in fullness of Him so all can give glory to God this day until the last day appears!
So today who's words are we accepting and who's are we rejecting? If it is only a man's word or a man's presence we are accepting or rejecting then no light of God will be shining in us to defeat the darkness but if we are accepting God through His Son by His living word then yes it is His light that will continue to grow in us with His words that will defeat all darkness in us!! His light of healing grace and power will prove who He is in all of us!